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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 15:54 GMT
India cash in for Twenty20 league
By Prachi Pinglay
BBC News in Mumbai

Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar will be among the stars who play in the IPL
Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar will be among star names in the IPL

The rights to control India's eight Twenty20 Premier League teams have been sold for a staggering 370m.

The bidding concerned franchises in Mumbai (57m), Bangalore (57m), Hyderabad (54m), Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata.

Film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta were part of consortia that won 10-year rights deals.

The IPL will hold 59 games over 44 days from April to May, with 1.5m in prize money and TV contracts sold for 500m.

606: DEBATE

The tournament was launched by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) as a direct competitor to the Indian Cricket League, launched last October, which it does not recognise.

The IPL has the backing of the game's world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the top two teams will go on to take part in a football-style champions league, also featuring sides from England, Australia and South Africa.

Mumbai, for whom Sachin Tendulkar will play, went for the highest amount, with billionaire Mukesh Ambani winning control.

The group including Khan and Chawla secured Kolkata (formerly called Calcutta) while airline and beer tycoon Vijay Mallya, who owns Formula One team Force India, took his home-town side Bangalore.

Jaipur attracted the lowest winning bid of 34m from British company Emerging Media.

Bollywood stars Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan were part of successful consortia
Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan were part of successful consortia

Lalit Modi, vice president of the Indian cricket board and chairman of the IPL, said said three late bidders were not accepted - including the Sahara group, which sponsors the Indian national team.

Each succesful bidder will pay 10% of the bid price to the board every year.

"To date we have made $1.749bn (850m)," Modi said. "We are looking to build on it going forward."

Every squad of 16 must have a minimum of four Indian and four under-21 players, with no more than four international players allowed in any one game.

Four "iconic" players - Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid (Bangalore), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) and Yuvraj Singh (Chandigarh) - cannot be traded for three years and they will be paid 10% more than other team members.

Organisers are confident the tournament will lead to an improvement in domestic cricket standards and will attract big crowds - each venue has a seating capacity of more than 25,000.

Franchise owners will be able to bid for players in the coming weeks, with more than 70 Indians available as well as others from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa.



SEE ALSO
Australia warns stars over league
02 Dec 07 |  Australia
Aussie stars join Indian League
31 Oct 07 |  International Teams
McGrath confirms Indian interest
07 Aug 07 |  Australia
Pakistan ban players from league
02 Aug 07 |  Pakistan


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